Scotland have today confirmed Gordon Strachan as their new manager and the betting indicates he will lead his country to their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.
Ladbrokes have priced the Scots up at an unfathomably short 10/11 to be steered to one of the two leading international competitions under Strachan’s stewardship, despite the fact that they’ve only managed to win four competitive games in the previous four years.
Euro 2016 looks the likeliest tournament that the Scots will grace under Strachan but, unless a wealth of Lionel Messi-esque talent is tearing through their ranks unbeknownst to all barring the bookies and Scottish FA, there is nothing to justify such a short price.
The Tartan Army still rely on the same core of players that they did four years ago their most recent team failed to get the better of Macedonia before being beaten by Wales.
The likes of Steven Fletcher, Darren Fletcher and James Morrison are all very able Premier League players yet, while those surrounding them in the Scotland side aren’t entirely substandard, Strachan isn’t equipped with the tools that his predecessors obviously lacked to take them to the top table of international football.
He’ll be working with exactly the same players as Craig Levein was and the former Celtic and Middlesbrough chief is a far cry from the miracle worker these prices suggest.
His spell with Boro, for instance, was nothing short of disastrous. Not only did he play unimaginative, outdated, one-dimensional football, but he dragged the Teessiders down from being Championship promotion contenders to the fringes of a relegation battle in the space of a year.
So if he couldn’t get results with one of the stronger teams in the Championship, how is he going to do it with one of the worst teams in international football?
The answer is simple: he isn’t.
Strachan, who won 50 caps for his country, takes charge of the team for the first time when they host a friendly with Estonia next month and, at 7/2, it might be worth a punt on the Baltic minnows to ensure the new regime starts with a loss.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date